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Agricultural News

CRSPR - The Next Big Thing in Genetic Modification That's Revolutionizing Biotechnology

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 12:10:27 CDT

CRSPR - The Next Big Thing in Genetic Modification That's Revolutionizing Biotechnology Dr. Kenneth Roland, associate professor of research at the Biodesign Institute located at Arizona State University talked recently at a biotech conference in Phoenix, about the next "big thing" in genetic modification. RON's Associate Farm Director Carson Horn caught up with Dr. Roland to speak more about the newest breakthrough in biology called, CRISPR.

"CRISPR is a method by which you can make modifications to cells efficiently," Roland said. "Up until now, making modifications to bacterial cells was easy, but making changes to what we call eukaryotic cells, like mammalian cells and human cells and plant cells was a little more difficult."

CRISPR technology has revolutionized the way biologists are looking at gene modification in higher organisms now, says Dr. Roland. However, with this enhanced capability in the hands of scientists, a plethora of ethical questions have been raised.

"There are people that are interested in taking it out of the lab and making designer pets and designer animals and possibly even designer humans and this raises of course a lot of important questions," Roland said. "Should we do it? Are we going too far?"

Looking at the more practical applications of this technology though, Dr. Roland insists it could be widely used on ethically sound projects, for instance, modifying cows to produce more vitamin content in milk, creating a more nutritious product.

"Those kinds of things will be a lot more practical to pull off," Roland said. "It's still in the early stages of course but with this new tool I think things are going to move along a lot more quickly than they ever have before."

Listen to Dr. Kenneth Roland of the Biodesign Institute and RON's Carson Horn, talk more in depth about the hottest new science in biotechnology, CRISPR, by clicking the LISTEN BAR below.



Listen to Dr. Kenneth Roland explain the next big thing in gene editing to RON's Carson Horn
right-click to download mp3


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